Hello Iggles! I’m Fitness ninja Christina and I’m here to share my experience with my first bike race. I am also hoping to make this a recurring post about cycling in general. I love cycling and want to share my love with all of you!
There are a few things I need to explain first. The race took place last weekend March 7, 2015 in Cable WI. Yes in Wisconsin, on the snow! This particular race was only for Fat Bikes. This is my bike: a Trek Farley, named after the SNL funny man himself.
A Fat Tire bike means that the tires have to be a minimum of 3.7 inches wide. My tires are 5 inches in the front and 4 in the back. The wide tire gives you the feel of suspension in some places and allows you to ride more efficiently in not so great conditions.
This race took place on a network of Cross Country Ski Trails. There were lots of rolling hills and flowing curves around majestic forests, and two distance options to choose from to ride: 20k or 47k
Since this was my first time I rode the 20k. So at 9:00 am everyone that rode the 47k lined up at the start.
Seeing this many people start a race at once was fantastic! It also made the trail very hard to ride in areas. At 9:15 we were off! Up a small incline I was passed by what I felt was everyone else, but I took my time and tried not to let it bother me. Over the course of the 20k we went up in elevation 1250 ft. That’s the height of the Empire State Building. Every time I rode down a hill, there was one more to go up. By the end of my ride… 3hrs later most of the trail was mush. Imagine walking or biking in mashed potatoes. That was what this was like. Pedaling up hill I would shift gears and my tire would just stop. It would get stuck in the snow. I think I used my arm muscles to push my bike more that I used my legs for pedaling. I’m sure that I did ride more than I walked but after a certain point all you are thinking is, is this over yet?
Everything ached. I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest, and then I heard the most magical words ever.. “Only 500 Meters until the finish line” Suddenly, my energy came back. I can do this! And as I came around the bend I could hear my husband calling my name and ringing a cow bell! I don’t know if I have ever felt more alive than in that moment!
Knowing what I know now, I would prepare for this event very differently. I would work more on Strength and endurance that just riding my bike. I would probably follow a routine for someone training to ride in the mountains. The constant up and down of hills with limited recovery time was really rough on my body and I want to be more prepared for that. I don’t suggest trying something like this with out any preparation.
Next time I will be giving a basic overview of types of cycling and some tips for finding the right ride for you!